Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

Vodafone UK lands iPhone too but Apple unlikely to sanction a price war

iPhone-vodafoneFollowing yesterday’s news that mobile carrier Orange are to begin selling the iPhone here in the UK, Vodafone have announced that they too are jumping on the Cupertino bandwagon, albeit not till early 2010.

And with O2’s two-plus year monopoly on Apple’s iconic device therefore well and truly broken, overpaid analysts and most of the tech press/blogosphere have been quick to predict a pending price war for the iPhone and associated tariffs this side of the pond. However, I’m still not convinced that this will be the case.

Continue reading »

iPhone UK exclusivity to end, the future's Orange but is it any brighter?

iphone-orangeExclusive handset offerings are certainly good for carriers and are probably good for handset makers too as they help drive up the price during negotiations – presuming there is a demand for said device in the first place. But it’s hard to see how they are ever in the interest of consumers who end up paying more through higher tariffs via the subsidy merry-go-round.

That’s because exclusives create a monopoly by any other name. In the case of the iPhone, if you want Apple’s iconic device here in the UK, you have no real choice but to become a customer of O2. Thankfully, that’s set to change with rival carrier Orange announcing that they have partnered with Apple to officially offer the iPhone.

Continue reading »

Spotify on iPhone approved by Apple

With Apple stuck between the FCC, Eurpean Union regulators and a hard place, I’m not that surprised to see the approval of music streaming service Spotify’s iPhone app. Apple today confirmed to paidContent that Spotify (currently Europe-only) has been given the green light and will be available in the App Store “very soon”.

While many had speculated that the app might be rejected by Cupertino on the grounds of ‘duplicating’ (read: competing with) the iPhone’s built in functionality — iTunes — I was confident that, especially in the current climate, Spotify would be approved.

I predict that Apple will in the end give Spotify the green light based on several factors. Avoiding monopoly accusations being one. Spotify’s pricing model being another (the iPhone app will only be available to premium subscribers so it’s far from a free-for-all). And then there’s Apple’s kludgy multitasking solution. The latter of which means that Spotify on iPhone will be unable to run in the background. Switch to a different app and the music stops.

One thing we don’t yet know, however, is if Apple has in anyway restricted any of the features of the Spotify iPhone app, in particular the ability to cache playlists for off-line playback. This feature alone means that Spotify competes more heavily with iTunes than other streaming music apps that already exist for the iPhone.

Overall though it looks like great news for Spotify and bodes well for the future of Rhapsody’s iPhone app, which is currently pending Apple’s approval.

Real's Rhapsody enters App Store submission hell, could bode well for Spotify?

Adopting a similar PR strategy to Spotify, U.S.-only music subscription service Rhapsody ($14.99-a-month) has published details of its iPhone app, mid submission process to Apple’s App Store. While submitting an app alone far from guarantees that it will ever see the light of day through Cupertino’s official channel, by showing off the app now, including a video demo (below), it does ensure that any dirty linen on Apple’s part is aired in public. It also helps to build consumer demand from existing Rhapsody subscribers who also own an iPhone in preparation for a backlash should the app be rejected.

And rejection is certainly a possibility.

Continue reading »

Palm Pre to launch on O2 in the UK, just don't mention the competition

It’s now official: The Palm Pre will launch exclusively on Telefonica-owned O2 here in the UK.


“In time for the holidays”, say Palm and O2, with no word yet on pricing. My guess is that we’re talking early October, enough time to ramp up for Christmas spending.

Either way, it’s a pretty long time to wait, especially since O2 will have been busy pimping its other flagship exclusive. Apple’s newly launched iPhone 3GS.

And then there’s the rest of the competition.

Continue reading »

After pressure from EU, Apple dumping iPhone's Universal Dock Connector? (microUSB)

ipod-dockWhen news first hit that three of the leading mobile phone industry organizations had agreed on micro-USB as a mobile phone charging standard, Apple was notably absent. The iPhone maker is particularly fond of its proprietary Universal Dock Connector, you know the one that enables all sorts of third-party after market device goodness and also generates the company a nice little revenue stream through its ‘Made for iPod’ program. Today, however, the European Union (EU), after applying pressure to the industry, announced that Apple had joined competitors, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, LG, Research in Motion, Samsung and others, in agreeing to switch to the micro-USB standard from next year.

(via Rueters)

Intel and Nokia announce "long-term relationship" to develop Intel-based mobile devices

This one feels like a bit of a re-announcement but over time could well amount to more. Chip maker Intel and handset maker Nokia held a joint press call today to tell the world about a new “long term relationship” to share R&D and key technologies to develop a new mobile platform or range of devices that “go beyond today’s smartphones, notebooks and netbooks”.

Oh and said devices will be powered by future Intel processors, of course.

Which, as The Register points out, sounds a lot like the Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) Intel has been to touting for years, and very similar to Nokia’s own – albeit non-Intel based – N810 Internet tablet (see my review).

Continue reading »

Vudu now offering Disney HD movies for purchase on same 'day and date' as Blu-ray

Disney HD content for purchase on Vudu

Disney HD content for purchase on Vudu

Vudu (U.S.-only) is to offer new Disney HD releases for purchase through its set-top box movie service on the same “day and date” as their competing DVD/Blu-ray release. It’s the first time that Disney has broadly licensed its content in HD for sale through an online video service, beyond one-off offerings or ‘rental-only’, says Vudu. Alongside new releases, 60 library films are also being added to Vudu’s ‘for purchase’ HD catalog. Disney chose to work with Vudu, says the company, “in large part because of the [picture] quality” offered by the service.

Interestingly, Steve Jobs, the guy who runs Apple, is also Disney’s majority shareholder after the motion picture company bought animation studio Pixar a few years back. Therefore, I wonder how long it will be before iTunes secures the same access to Disney’s HD library as Vudu, if it hasn’t already.

Official: Palm Pre to go on sale June 6th, just two days before Apple's WWDC – $200 with 2 year contract

Palm Pre to go on sale June 6

Palm Pre to go on sale June 6

After weeks and weeks of speculation, the cat is finally — and I mean finally — out of the bag. The Palm Pre will go on sale in the US on June the 6th, with the Sprint exclusive, for now at least, costing $200 after a $100 mail in rebate with a 2 year contract. If you’re lucky enough to be based in the states, you’ll be able to purchase a Pre at Sprint stores, Best Buy, Radioshack, select Wal-Mart stores and through Sprint’s own website. That’s a pretty decent lineup of distributors and should give the device plenty of shopping mall exposure, presuming of course that Palm can meet the initial demand. And then there’s iPhone.

Continue reading »

Amazon to Apple: keep your hands off our iPhone Kindle eBook revenue

iPhone Kindle app

iPhone Kindle app

At first glance it seems innocuous enough: Amazon has launched a version of its Kindle eBook store optimized for the iPhone’s web browser to make it easier for users of Apple’s device to purchase new eBooks for the iPhone’s Kindle application. “The most common feedback we heard from customers was that they wanted a better experience for purchasing new Kindle books from their iPhones”, says Ian Freed, vice president of Amazon Kindle operations.

In the updated iPhone Kindle app, a “Get Books” button opens the phone’s Safari web browser and takes users straight to the new iPhone-friendly site. Any new purchases made then show up in and are downloadable from the iPhone Kindle app itself.

See also: What Kindle on iPhone says about Amazon’s eBook strategy

The result of which is that Amazon has made it relatively simple for users to purchase Kindle content in a way that replicates the iPhone’s upcoming ‘in-app purchases’ feature, all without giving Apple its 30% cut or, presumably, breaking any terms of service.